Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sebastian and Bridget Haffey Burns

St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Cemetery, in Madison County, Mississippi, near Rayville, is the final resting place for a large number of individuals with Irish ancestry who came to Madison County to live in the late 1800's. Some of the individuals buried in this old Catholic cemetery have surnames such as Burns, Doherty, Donahoe, Haffey, McGowan, Murray, Murphy, and Shannon. Two of these families have a large number of their loved ones buried in St. Mary of the Springs Cemetery, and these same two families, Burns and Haffey, had children who married each other.

Bridget Haffey, born May 10, 1869, married Sebastian B. Burns, who was born on October 17, 1866. Sebastian died August 19, 1929, and Bridget Haffey Burns died on June 3, 1939. A picture of their double gravestone, with the name "Burns" inscribed on the stone that separates the two larger stones, is shown here.

Sebastian Burns was born in Mississippi to Patrick Burns, a native of Ireland, and to Sarah Krafts Burns, who was born in South Carolina. According to the U. S. Census of 1870, Sarah and Patrick were living at that time in Police District 4 of Madison County. Sebastian, at three years old, was the oldest of the three children in the household. His siblings were James, age 2, and Mary, age 1, and both children, like Sebastian, were born in Mississippi. The Burns family lived near other families where the adults had been born in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and where the children in these household were born after arriving in Mississippi.

In 1880, when the U. S. Census was taken that year, Patrick and Sarah Burns were still living in Madison County, near Sharon, Mississippi. Their family had grown, and Sebastian (now shown as S. Joseph Burns,) had six brothers and sisters. James, age 11, was now known as "Tim," likely an abbreviation for his other name. And Mary, now called "Annie," was 10 years old. Other children in the household were Sallie, age 7, Joe, age 6, Katie, age 4, and John, age 3. M. J. Krafts, age 71, was shown as Sebastian's father-in-law, and had possibly become a widower at some time during the past ten years.

In 1900, Sebastian and Bridget Haffey Burns, married for four years, were enumerated on the U. S. Census and were the parents of a nine-month old daughter, Annie. Bridget birthplace was shown as Ireland, as was the birthplace of her parents. The surnames of neighbors of the Burns family included both Burns and Haffey, as well as others named Alexander, Boddie, Clanton, Henry, and Luckett.

In 1920, when the U.S. Federal Census was recorded, a birthplace of Mississippi was fairly common among most of the individuals living in close proximity to the Burns family, both adults and children. Sebastian and Bridget had moved to another location in Madison County, near Camden, and they had six children, two daughters and four sons. The children's names were Josephine, age 17, Edward, age 15, Catherine, age 13, twins Paul and Willie, age 10, and John B., age 8. This farm family of eight was shown to be renting their home in a very remote and rural area of Madison County, and economic times were likely tough, to say the least.

Ironically, by 1920, out of several dozen adults living near Sebastian and Bridget Haffey Burns in Camden, Mississippi, their family were the only individuals who had a parent born outside the United States.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Postmaster from Prussia

J. C. Lockenvitz, known as "Julian," was an immigrant from Germany ("Prussia") as his birthplace was shown on the U. S. Census of 1880. His date of birth shown on the gravestone pictured here shows his date of birth as 1833, and his age on the census agrees with the birth year shown.

Julian Lockenvitz's parents were also born in Prussia, and in 1880, he was one of only two individuals living in the United States who had the surname of Lockenvitz. The other individual was Maria Lockenvitz, a servant born in Germany in 1844, who lived in Detroit, Michigan.

In 1880, Lockenvitz had not yet arrived in Holmes County, as he was enumerated in Jamaica, Middlesex County, Virginia. He worked as a "shop clerk," and three other men shared his household there. According to the 1880 census, Lockenvitz was shown as the head of the household, and the three non-related men who lived there with him were I. R. Bland, 20 years old, John E. Wright, Age 18, and Walter Clark, age 17. Bland, Wright, and Clark were all born in Virginia. In fact, all of Lockenvitz's neighbors were also born in Virginia.

By 1900, Lockenvitz was living in Beat 3, Holmes County, Mississippi, and he is shown on the U. S. Census taken that same year as the only person in his household. According to a directory of U. S. Civil Servants published in 1910, Lockenvitz began serving as the Postmaster of the Ebenezer, Mississippi Post Office in 1890, and his salary was $300 per year.

Julian Lockenvitz died in 1915, and his grave is located in the Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Ebenezer, Mississippi, near Lexington.

List of Madison County Cemeteries

As The Graveyard Rabbit of Madison County, Mississippi, I feel I should provide readers with the names of cemeteries located in Madison County. During the coming months, I plan to write posts about each of these cemeteries, as well as family stories about those who are buried in them. A list of these cemeteries appears below:

Abernathy Cemetery
Anderson Cemetery
Balfour Cemetery
Canton Cemetery
Chaney Cemetery
Clark Cemetery
Clayton Cemetery
Damascus Baptist Church Cemetery
Dickson Cemetery
Eugene Garrett Memorial Garden Cemetery
Faucette Cemetery
Galloway Cemetery
Good Hope Cemetery
Greenwood Cemetery
Haley Cemetery
Hammack Cemetery
Hayes Cemetery
Hinter Cemetery
Jackson Cemetery
Jessamine Cemetery
Jones Cemetery
Leggett Cemetery
Lottville Cemetery
Memory Gardens
Montgomery Cemetery
Mount Able Cemetery
Mount Elam Cemetery
Mount Pisgah Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Natchez Trace Memorial Park Cemetery
New Hope Grove Cemetery
New Mount Zion Cemetery
Pine Grove Cemetery
Prichard Cemetery
Ross Cemetery
Saint Elizabeth Cemetery
Schaffer Cemetery
Shiloh Cemetery
Sneed Cemetery
St. Mary of the Springs Cemetery
Stewart Cemetery
Sulphur Springs Cemetery
Sutherland Cemetery
Tarpley Cemetery
Teeter Cemetery
Tougaloo Garden Memorial Park
Travis Cemetery

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Joseph and Zemuly McClesky Guyton

Gravestone of Joseph Guyton and his wife
Zemuly Coats McClesky Guyton in
Ellington Cemetery, Attala County, MS

(Picture taken by Mark Blasingame)

Joseph Guyton was born on April 14, 1805, in Pendleton County, South Carolina, the son of Aaron Guyton, born in Baltimore County, Maryland, and his wife Margaret McCurdy Guyton. Joseph was the 8th of a total of 13 children born to his parents.

Joseph Guyton and Zemuly Coats McClesky Guyton were 23 and 17, respectively, when they were married on March 13, 1828, in Hall County, Georgia. Their first six children were born in Hall County, Georgia, before Joseph and Zemuly moved to Mississippi in 1844. After moving to Attala County, Joseph farmed land there, and he and Zemuly became the parents of three more children. The children's names and dates of birth are:

Martha Margaret Guyton, born February 11, 1829 in Hall County, Georgia
Mary Jane Guyton, born January 1831 in Hall County, Georgia
Aaron Steele Guyton, born March 28, 1833 in Hall County, Georgia
John Whitaker Guyton, born June 11, 1835 in Hall County, Georgia
David Thomas Guyton, born January 29, 1838 in Hall County, Georgia
Harriet Louise Guyton, born June 7, 1840 in Hall County, Georgia
Robert Alfred Guyton, born November 23, 1842 in Hall County, Georgia
Sara Elizabeth Guyton, born July 29, 1845, in Attala Co., Mississippi
Zemuly Matilda Guyton, born February 11, 1848, in Attala County, Mississippi
Joseph William Sutherland Guyton, born September 26, 1850 in Mississippi

On March 17, 1872, Zemuly Coats McClesky Guyton, Joseph's wife, and the mother of his ten children, died, just four days after being married for 44 years. On April 7, 1880, just a week before his 75th birthday, Joseph Guyton died. As you can see in the picture above, Joseph and Zemuly share a common gravestone in Ellington Cemetery, reunited again.

"Taking it to the Grave"

I know you have heard someone during your lifetime use the phrase above. Both literally and figuratively, the act of "taking it to your grave" has been accomplished by many over the course of time. I have read stories about how the deceased was buried with family photos, jewelry, and other items that were dear to them. In the recent past, I recall articles that discussed requests that were carried out for one individual to be buried in his Ferrari, and for other to be buried on his tractor. My own husband wants to be buried with his favorite golf club.

I really thought I had heard it all.

But it seems that I had not heard everything. Today, I read an article on MSNBC's website about something that is happening in our high-tech society that tops all other requests such as those above. It seems that a large number of folks who have
"lived" with a cellphone or a blackberry in their hands, are now opting to carry that same device with them into the afterlife. They are literally "taking it to the grave."

Funeral directors are now routinely receiving requests for cellphones to be left "
on" in the open casket, set with a "ring tone" that had special meaning for the deceased, sometimes a favorite tune. These requests allow friends and acquaintances to call the person after death and to honor them by playing the special tune or to leave a voicemail paying their last respects. These requests, more often than not, include leaving the cellphone or blackberry in the casket with the deceased when burial occurs.

According to funeral directors who were interviewed for the article, at least two problems with this practice have been identified. First, the phone should be turned off before the funeral service. This is not really any different from what we are now asked to do in the movie theatre, in church, or before a event such as a musical performance or a play. Apparently, not remembering to turn off the phone, resulted in persistent ringing, has disrupted quite a few funerals.

Secondly, if the deceased or the family of the deceased has requested cremation, for safety reasons, the cell phone or blackberry cannot be included in the process. It seems this is prohibited, since heat causes most cell phones or a blackberry to explode and to emit toxic substances. In most cremation situations, the intact device is included with the ashes of the deceased in the urn or box that is presented to family members after the cremation has occurred.

So now you see, "taking it to the grave" has yet another meaning.

What will be next?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The McAfee Family Buried at Bethel Cemetery

"Sacred to the Memory of James Taliaferro McAfee, born November 8, 1806, died April 10, 1852" appears on the headstone of James Taliaferro McAfee. The headstone of Rebecca, his wife, shows that she was born in 1811 and died in 1866, fourteen years after her husband. These two early settlers are buried in Bethel Cemetery, beside Bethel Church, an independent Methodist Church located in the community of Hesterville in rural Attala County, Mississippi. The top of the stone marking the grave of James McAfee contains a masonic emblem.

Rebecca McAfee
b. 1811, d. 1866

If naming conventions of the 1800's were followed, James Taliaferro McAfee's mother's maiden name may have been "Taliaferro." According to Wikipedia, "Taliaferro," and its variations, "Tolliver" and "Toliver" were names of a prominent Virginia family who settled there in the 17th century. The name itself is derived from the name "Tagliaferro," meaning "ironcutter" in Italian, and its origins can be traced to Northern Italy. Some well-known individuals with the surname "Taliaferro" include Richard Taliaferro, the architect of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Benjamin Taliaferro, United States Senator from Georgia, for whom Taliaferro County, Georgia is named.

According to the U. S. Census recorded for Attala County in 1850, Rebecca G. and James Taliaferro McAfee lived with their 11 children in Township 14, Range 6 East. Rebecca was shown to be 39 years old and James was 43. The birthplace of each was shown to be North Carolina. James's occupation was shown as "farmer" and the value of real estate he owned was $2,000. Apparently, the couple lived in Georgia for some time before settling in Mississippi, since their six oldest children shown on the census were shown to have been born in that state. The five youngest children of Rebecca and James were all born in Mississippi. According to the census, their names and ages were Robert G., age 18, Marshal D., age 16, Samuel H., age 14, Elizabeth, M., age 12, John M., age 10, Abrmins I.F., age 9, William I., age 7, Susan M., age 5, Sarah R., age 4, Germernah, age 2, and Missouri, age 6 months.

Bethel Independent Methodist Church
Hesterville, Attala County, Mississippi

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Porter Family in Oregon Cemetery

This headstone of J. M. Porter, who died on November 22, 1861, is inscribed simply with "Father" and "aged 72 years and 5 months." My great-greatgrandfather, who lived in Attala County, was also named J(ames) M. Porter, and I have been unable to determine the exact relationship of these two individuals to each other. Also buried in the Oregon Cemetery are A. A. Porter and his wife, M. M. Porter.

More information about the Porter Family in Attala and Madison Counties can be found at one of this site's companion blogs,
Attala County Memories.

Kirkwood Cemetery

Gravestone of William McWillie
Former Gov. of the State of Mississippi
Kirkwood Cemetery, Camden, MS
b. November 17, 1795, d. March 3, 1869

The gravesite of William McWillie, former Governor of the State of Mississippi, is seen in the picture above of Kirkwood Cemetery, near the site of the McWillie family home that was known as "Kirkwood." A photograph of former Governor McWillie's official portrait as Governor of Mississippi, is also shown above.

Kirkwood Cemetery and the old McWillie home site are located in a heavily pine-forested and remote northeast corner of Madison County, near the community known as Camden. Also buried in the cemetery are members of the McWillie family, including some family members of his two wives.

William McWillie was born on November 17, 1795 in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. While still living in South Carolina and while still a young man, McWillie served in the War of 1812. After migrating to Mississippi, McWillie was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between 1849 and 1851, he served as a representative from Mississippi's 3rd District. Several years later, McWillie was elected Governor of Mississippi, where he headed the state government from 1857 to 1859.

The gravemarker for William McWillie's second wife, Catharine, interestingly fashioned in the form of an open book, is pictured below.

Gravestone marking the burial place of
Catherine Anderson McWillie, second wife of William McWillie.
Catharine died on June 8, 1873, at the age of 61 years .